The Duke Ellington Center for the Arts will present its annual holiday party and fundraiser for its Scholarship Fund and other programs in the key of Ellington – Ring Dem Bells! – on Monday, December 10, 6 to 9 PM, at Landmark on the Park, 76th Street and Central Park West.
Tickets – priced at $75 per person, or $100 per person plus 5 raffles, or $150 per couple plus 5 raffles -- are still available at www.thedukeellingtoncenter.org or www.eventbrite.com/event/3575501421/eac2#. If ordering by check, or wish to make a donation if you are unable to attend the party, please make payable to The Duke Ellington Center for the Arts, PO Box 20501, New York, NY 10023-9991. (The Duke Ellington Center for the Arts is a 501©3 educational charity. Your tickets and/or donations are tax deductible).
The festive evening will feature musicians from The Duke Ellington Center Big Band with the legendary Frank Owens at piano; an exhilarating entertainment program directed and staged by the noted dancer/choreographer Mercedes Ellington with vocalists Marion Cowings and Antoinette Montague, and dancers Michael Choi and Anna Trukhan and Mickey Davidson and Darian Parker, and an open mic with surprise guest performers emceed by International Cabaret Star Adrienne Hahn.
There will also be special entertainment by Dennis Chiccino singing from the Larry Kerchner songbook, T. Oliver Reid and Erick Pinnick with Eugene Gwozdz and a number from Earl Wilson, Jr's YES!, A Musical, this year's Julie Wilson Award winner Shana Farr, Ty Stephens, Zack Dobbins, the Pitch Blak Brass Band, winners f this year's Duke Ellington Tuba Competition, ; Dylan Meek and Adrienne Hahn.
There will also be a Silent Auction with such prizes as original artwork, dance lessons by Melanie LaPatin (one of the choreographers on the Fox TV series So You Think You Can Dance?), a portrait session, designer jewelry by Shana Farr Designs, and
Four Fabulous Caribbean Trips to Raffle! (Raffle Tickets will be sold all evening at just $25 each!)
Party guests will also be treated to a wide selection of scrumptious food and drink provided by the award-winning Spoonbread Catering.
According to Mercedes Ellington, the Duke's granddaughter and an acclaimed choreographer and former dancer who is founder and President of the Duke Ellington Center for the Arts, "This Holiday Party is one of the organization's best attended events. It is a fun-filled musical evening attended by a cross section of New York City's music and entertainment industries, as well as by some of our loyal supporters. Proceeds from the evening will go toward our Scholarship Fund and our educational programs. This year we are in a fabulous new location, Landmark on the Park, at 76th Street and Central Park West and this should be our best holiday event ever!"
"With more than 3,000 compositions, Duke Ellington was the 20th century's most prolific composer in both volume and variety," says Mercedes Ellington. "His fame spread worldwide and he built a fantastic career as a musician, composer, songwriter, orchestra leader and innovator of American Music that began in the 1920's and continued non-stop until his death in 1974. His music is as popular today as it was during his lifetime. And it is one of the missions of the Duke Ellington Center for the Arts to support the inspiration of all people to become Ambassadors for Peace and Harmony through the magic of the Arts-one note at a time."